Monday, May 31, 2010

New York Bound

As of 4:30 PM, Friday the 28th, I am no longer a property owner in New Orleans—my almost 5-year nightmare ended just days before the start of a new hurricane season, one predicted to be severe. I was too afraid that something might happen to postpone the closing to plan a celebration, but two friends were celebrating birthdays last weekend and at each we raised a glass to my freedom.

And Sunday I leave for New York, a belated 60th birthday present from one of my closest friends. We were planning a spa trip but when she suggested we change to a few days in NY as tourists, I jumped at it. Rubbing and aroma-therapy are great but right now I need a cultural infusion more—I’ll get to see Fela and Race, Picasso’s exhibit at the Met and walk the streets of the city that was my home for 30 years and acquaint myself with its new rhythm—New York has changed significantly since I left in 2005.

Before I return to Mexico, I’m going to Atlanta for a couple of days to see two of my mom’s closest friends, women who have been second mothers to me who at 89 and 91 aren’t as spry as they used to be. Roberta taught me to speak-up and speak plain. Georgia was the first actress I knew and kindled my interest in theatre.

Sorrow always seems to accompany joy these days—the day before the house closed I found out that one of my dearest friend’s cancer has come back with a vengeance. Life used to deliver of periods of unbridled joy. I didn’t know o relish them, I’ll be more appreciative if they come again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I’ve been silent for way too long but nothing much was happening—not with me, not in San Miguel after the last of the snowbirds left the week following Easter. The city is empty now, the foreign community started leaving the 1st of May to avoid our hottest month, and many businesses have closed until the 1st of June. So far, it hasn’t been bad. We had a couple of extremely hot days where the afternoon heat permeated the city until after 5pm but we’ve also had rain. Although the tour books said the rainy season in San Miguel started in May, the rains have come later since I moved here. This May has been much cooler than the others—the last couple of mornings I’ve needed a sweatshirt when I’ve rushed out to yoga at 7:45.

I’ve been waiting, unfocused except for my constant underlying prayer, Please let me my house in New Orleans sell and end this almost 5-year nightmare. This time my prayers were answered—I signed a contract to sell the house in late April and cleared the final hurdle last week when the house appraised for more than the selling price. What a difference time makes—two years ago I wouldn’t have accepted this bid that is significantly less than what I paid for the house. But ending the nightmare is far more important than money now.

This morning I went to the American Consulate to have my Specific Power of Attorney notarized. Getting something notarized at the Consulate always pisses me off. Something that can be done for a nominal fee in the States is a fortune at the Consulate. The last time I had something notarized in the States I paid about $4. Here they charge by the page and I needed to notarize four copied of a 3/page document. Instead of paying $16, it cost me approximately $120. But the Consulate has a monopoly of this service outside the US so they can charge what they want. I have to keep perspective--it's cheaper than flying to New Orleans to close this deal myself.

What’s next? Do I try and create a livelihood here where the living is easier or return to the States, where jobs are scare and my expenses would quadruple? Or maybe just become a bum, moving from one cheap place to another until the money runs out? The last option may sound tempting but uselessness would bore me.